Title

Improving Distribution Operations: Implementation of Material Handling Systems

Department

Management & Entrepreneurship

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2009

Abstract

Academic research has primarily focused on the technical factors of material handling systems, with little or no discussion of human factors. In order to improve the performance of distribution operations, we found that the implementation of material handling systems involves both human and technical factors. These human and technical factors interact over time and go through three somewhat overlapping transitional stages. In the first stage, both human and technical problems exist; however, human problems dominate, and require conflict management skills to resolve. In the second stage, human problems improve, but technical problems persist, requiring formal problem-solving methods to resolve. Finally, in the third stage, both human and technical problems improve. It is important to recognize these transitional stages because they must be effectively managed in order for the material handling functions to perform at the optimal level. Implications of this research, including directions for future research, are also provided.

Journal

International Journal of Production Economics

Journal ISSN

0925-5273

Volume

122

Issue

1

First Page

89

Last Page

106

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1016/j.ijpe.2008.12.026